Don’t Tell Me That–Creative Edition

As a writer one thing I want -aside from being paid to write- is for people to read what I write. When I publish something, or on the rare occasion when someone else publishes something I write, I naturally tell people about it because I’m excited. Something of mine is available to be read by your eyeballs! You should do that! I encourage it!

So, the last thing I want to hear when I tell you that something I’ve written is ready to be consumed is all of the reasons why you’re not going to read it.

Don’t tell me that.

I don’t need to hear how you won’t read my story because it’s not what you usually read or that you don’t like the genre or that you don’t have the time or that you don’t really read. I don’t need your excuses about why you’re not going to read my work. Just tell me “That’s great!” and we’ll all move on with our day. It saves a lot of awkwardness of me smiling and reassuring you that’s it’s all good while inside I’m dying of embarrassment.

I know why people do this. They’re worried that I’m going to later ask if they’ve read it. They’re worried I’m going to ask what they thought of it. They don’t want to get caught out later by having not done their homework. However, I’m not looking for a book report. There will be no quiz. This is not for a grade.

This is simply an announcement.

Like I said, as I a writer, what I want most is for people to read what I write. But I don’t expect it. I’m not going to insist that you read one of my stories just because we’re friends or family or acquaintances or I simply know of your existence. I would prefer that you read what I write because you want to, not because you think you have to. Nothing good comes of that.

Because that’s something else I don’t want you to tell me. How much you loved something I wrote when you didn’t actually like it. Or even want to read it. Yes, I do like to receive feedback on my stories, especially positive feedback. My ego loves to be fed. But I don’t need false praise. I’ve been rejected enough. My writer’s skin is pretty thick. It’s okay if you don’t like something I write.

Just don’t tell me that.

Even if you tell me that you’re going to read something I wrote, I’m not going to follow up with that. I’m not going to ask you if you got around to reading it or not, and I’m not going to ask you what you thought of it. In this case, I’m not going to hold you to your word about reading something you said you would. As far as I’m concerned, that’s up to you. And what you think about what I wrote is none of my business unless you choose to make it so. It’s not a requirement.

So, if you don’t like it, I’d rather you keep it to yourself. There’s no need to pretend that you did, nor tell me that you didn’t.

This is our get out of awkwardness free card.

I won’t ask, so you don’t have to tell me that.


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